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The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 3 'Monsters' Review


The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 3 ‘Monsters’ Review

Conflict with the Saviors leads to unintended consequences for the Hilltop, the Kingdom, and Alexandria; morality proves tricky in wartime.

The bullets haven’t run out yet, so I guess that means it’s time to dive back in to All Out War.

Don thy red shirts and go forth!

Ezekiel continues to lead his Kingdom brigade with the help of Carol, who has fully bought into his old English madness. But to his credit, they appear to be kicking some serious ass, taking out Savior brigades left and right with better strategy and no small amount of luck.

I was starting to climb aboard Ezekiel’s hype train until he haughtily declared “We will lose not one of our ranks!”

As expected, this led to them eventually walking right into an ambush, with a large number of their ranks being lost to automatic gunfire. Way to jinx things up, Zeke.

We Hardly Knew Ye

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 3 'Monsters' Review

Meanwhile, Aaron attempts to attend to Eric’s wounds. Eric responds to this by giving him a cheesy speech about how Aaron’s needed elsewhere and he knows it.

Meanwhile, Rick and Morales are still engaged in a prolonged whisper shouting debate about who is the bigger a-----e. Daryl finally decides to show up and put an arrow through Morales’ head. Despite saving his life, Rick is horrified that Daryl would kill someone who was trying to kill them AND had a credited speaking role on the show.

Rick and Daryl then get involved in an interminable hallway shoot out in which none of the participants ever have to reload their weapons. Thankfully, Aaron shows up and helps them emerge victorious.

Afterward, Aaron goes back outside to find that Eric has turned into a walker and wandered off into the woods. Considering how little we saw Eric in the show, it’s still a surprisingly poignant moment–which is made even more so when Aaron offers to take Gracie (the baby Rick found in the outpost) back to camp.

Later, Rick and Daryl are about to ride to their next location when a Savior shoots at them. Rick and Daryl manage to talk the frightened Savior out of the woods. Once he surrenders and tells them where more weapons are, Daryl puts an arrow in his head. Once again again, Rick is horrified that Daryl killed a person who was trying to kill them AND had a speaking part.

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 3 'Monsters' Review

When Jesus Walks

Jesus, Tara, and Morgan are marching the Saviors they made surrender back to the Hilltop. Along the way, the really douchy Savior from the old Kingdom supply exchanges (Jared) begins taunting Morgan about wearing his former apprentices armor.

Just when it looks like Morgan is about to snap and shoot him, a bunch of zombies start rolling down a nearby hill, which was was equal parts horrifying and hilarious to watch.

In the midst of the chaos and unlimited gunshots, Jared’s prisoner group attempt to escape into the woods…the same woods where the zombies are…while they are all tied and bound together. Morgan chases after them and catches up when they inevitably fall down. He shoots one and then aims for Jared, but is stopped by Jesus, who gives the 110th variation of the “they may be our enemies, but are still people” speech. Morgan responds by saying that there’s no way to rehabilitate people who are that evil (he’s probably right) while simultaneously having one of his regularly scheduled break downs. This leads to the two characters engaging a ridiculous kung fu fight before Morgan storms off into the woods.

The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 3 'Monsters' Review

Hill of Beans

Gregory shows up at the Hilltop and demands to be let in. Maggie (who still isn’t showing despite being four months pregnant) initially refuses. Gregory begs. Maggie relents.

A few minutes later, Jesus shows up with the prisoners. Gregory goes ballistic, saying that they can’t take in people like the Saviors, who have proven to be completely ruthless and homicidal.

You’ve gotta hand it to Gregory here, by the way. Not many characters could manage to be right while also being completely hypocritical, but he pulls it off somehow.

Anyway, Jesus then tells Maggie, who had to watch Negan kill the father of her unborn child, that it was their sacred duty to hold these prisoners instead of executing them.

The Verdict

Just like last week, The Walking Dead has fallen into a trap of recycled plots and painfully obvious set up.

Once again, Rick is on a “We Don’t Kill” kick, which will be forgotten as soon as it becomes inconvenient to the plot. He sure doesn’t seem to have a problem shooting people unless they start talking and/or reveal themselves to be cast members from Season 1.

Once again, Morgan is having a complete freak out about the ethics of killing your enemies–although this time I’m on his side.

A “major” character, who none of us really knew or cared about, died to provide another character (who we do know/care about) with some of that sweet, sweet television grief.

Ezekiel basically sentenced his people to death with that “none of us shall die” crap.

And don’t even get me started on the fact that no one ever has to reload their weapons. I’ve played video games with less generous magazine counts than what we’re seeing here.

I’m not sure what Negan and Gabriel have been talking about in that trailer this whole time, but it’s got to be more interesting than this.


The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 3 'Monsters' Review
The Walking Dead: Season 8, Episode 3 ‘Monsters’ Review
Is it good?
More recycled plots and painfully obvious story beats drive The Walking Dead further back into the grave.
The moment with Aaron grieving over Eric's death is genuinely heartbreaking...
...but it would have been even better if we actually knew or cared about Eric at all.
Once again, we've recycled Rick and Morgan's respective (and flexible) ethical stances on killing.
When a character says "None of us shall die," you know someone's going to die.

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